Summer Recap: This summer, we had a ton of fun. We did it all! From magic shows, bubble presentations, a singing ranger with puppets and reptile shows, to water days with water slides and special days filled with bubble play, there was something fun for everyone! While we had a lot of fun, we also managed to keep a routine and squeeze in some learning. In July, we kicked off Summer with our ‘Party in the USA’ theme! We made booming fireworks, shaving cream color burst stars, sang the star-spangled banner and more! We had a great time showing our patriotism. After a fun week of partying in the USA, we started our ‘Under Water’ theme. We enjoyed playing ocean creature memory games, learning the parts of a fish, making our own fish, and learning about different types of sharks. We had a great time singing some of our favorite ocean songs. A couple favorites were slippery fish and of course, baby shark! We wrapped up July with a favorite, our ‘Outer Space’ theme! The students enjoyed learning about the planets through a memory game, learning about the layers of the earth, making space sensory bags and making a special starlight nightlight! It was out of this atmosphere fun!In August, we started the month with our amazing summer carnival! It was a great time for all with a petting zoo, train, face painting and games galore! The students enjoyed learning more about farm animals, the produce grown on a farm and all the daily jobs the farmer is responsible for. We read The Little Red Hen, and all agreed it is important to help one another. The students showed their school spirit during spirit week! It was a blast celebrating sports day by creating our own sport ball, making crazy hair dos, wearing hats, school shirts and pajamas! We ended our summer with making sure we were fit and healthy to start the new school year. Fitness fun was a blast with Zumba, yoga and a special healthy snack of ants on a log! Our special project we did this month was, we made symmetrical butterflies. We folded our butterflies in half and ran a piece of yarn up and down to spread the paint inside. Once we opened the butterflies, we were able to observe that the wings were the same on both sides! We also made special mugs for Father’s Day! The letters D-A-D were put on the mug and the children colored over the letters. When removed their beautiful colorings displayed the word DAD! Hands down, we have the best dads around! We hope everyone enjoyed their gifts that were truly made with a lot of heart! Summer was exciting and fun! We are looking forward to September, as we start our new school year!
September Recap: In September, we focused on our favorite topic in the pre-primary room, ourselves! Toddlers love doing things that have to do with themselves and they can relate to! This was a fun way to start off the year. We talked about routines in the classroom, how we stay safe and healthy, how we get to school, our family and our friends. The students enjoyed singing music that went along with each topic. We sang, “The Wheels on the Bus”, “I Love You, You Love Me”, “The More We Get Together” and “I Wash My Hands”. Our practical life lessons included spooning apples and beans, as we are really working to develop the movements and hand control needed for manipulating a spoon. In our sensorial lesson we worked on our knobbed cylinders as well as our knobbles cylinders. This helps us develop a stronger pincer grip. In our language area we had our sandpaper letters of “a, b, c, d” so the children can feel each letter of the week. In our math lessons we practiced matching our number cards of 0-5, that went along with our book of the month, “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. In our cultural studies we explored our continent globe, as we have started talking about our 7 continents. We started our school year off on the right foot! Speaking of starting off on the right foot, one of our special projects we did this month was, using our foot to make a school bus! We literally painted our right foot yellow and turned them into school busses! We also enjoyed making a fingerprint family, a page “All About ME!” and a classroom mural of all our friends’ handprints together! We also felt we could relate with Chester, from our book of the month, “The Kissing Hand”. We know it can be hard to leave mommy and daddy, so we really enjoyed making a kissing hand of our own to remind us that we always carry their love with us! September was exciting and full of new beginnings! We are looking forward to October as we start our theme of “Five Senses and Feelings”.
October Recap: In October, we loved learning about our five senses and exploring our feelings! We started off learning about our sense of touch. We opened up a pumpkin and got a little messy exploring the different textures inside! We also used the texture boards to learn about rough and smooth. We then moved to our eyes and talked about everything we could see! We used our colored magnifying glasses to see the world through different colors! Next, we talked about how we use our ears to hear. We loved using our sound cylinders to hear the difference between quiet and loud. Next, was our favorite! We talked about smell and taste. We used apples to taste and smell the difference between, red, yellow and green apples! We all decided that red apples were our favorite! Lastly, we talked about our feelings. We used our dress up bears to observe their different facial expressions and learned how we can see if our friends are feeling happy or upset. We also talked about ways to help calm our bodies when we are feeling upset. OurHalloween parade and costume party were a hit! Thank you all for participating and we loved seeing everyone in their costumes! We had a couple of special projects we enjoyed working on in October! We made beautiful fall trees using our arm and hand as the tree, and then using Q-tips to paint Fall colored leaves onto our trees. We especially loved this because we were able to match the colors on our tree to our book of the month, We’re Going On A Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger. We also used oranges to stamp in orange paint and make Jack-o-Lanterns! This was fun as we were able to really explore our five senses with this project! We first felt the orange and said that it felt cold and bumpy on the outside! We then examined the orange with our eyes and saw the different tones of orange and a little bit of green. We opened the orange up and we smelled the orange with our noses and enjoyed the citrus aromas using our sense of smell. Next, we all took a little slice and tasted the sweet, juicy orange. Lastly, we used one side of an orange to dip in the paint. When we dipped it in the paint, we were very quiet so we could hear the squishy sound with our ears, or the paint mixing into the orange! October was full of exploring the functions of our bodies and spooky fun! We are looking forward to November, as we give thanks and talk about “Harvest and Healthy Bodies”.
November Recap: In November, we loved learning about Fall Harvest and healthy choices for healthy bodies. We started off learning about the different types of food that we harvest during the fall. We talked about green beans, sweet potatoes, apples, parsnips and more! This was a great way to lead into talking about healthy foods for our bodies. We discussed how it is important to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and to save the sweets for a sometimes treat! We also talked about how exercise is important to keep our bodies healthy. We practiced running and jumping outside. We also enjoyed practicing calm breathing and yoga as we remembered everything, we are thankful for. We took the time to go around the circle each day and say something we are thankful for that fills our bucket. We also discussed how we enjoy doing things for others, so that we can fill their buckets, too. Our Montessori lessons entailed vegetable and fruit cutting in practical life. While cutting and preparing our fruits and vegetables we talked about halves, fourths, sixths and eighths, to extend our activity into our mathematics. In our sensorial area we measured the different weights using our baric tablets. Lastly, we explored the letter sounds of “i, j and k” in our language area. We had a couple special projects we enjoyed working on this month. We made beautiful buckets with pictures of things that fill our bucket and make us feel happy. This was a great way to really grasp the meaning of our book of the month, “Fill A Bucket” by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin. We also made cornucopias that we filled with lots of the healthy foods we talked about this month. The children enjoyed painting the cornucopias and handpicking each food that they wanted to add. It was as if they were harvesting the produce themselves! November was full of giving thanks and gratitude. We are looking forward to December, as we learn about the different seasons and embrace the different holidays.
December Recap: In December, we loved learning about the four seasons and focusing on winter. We started off learning about which seasons fall during which months. We discussed how winter falls at the end of the year through the beginning of the next year. We learned about the cold months during the winter season (more cold than usual and if we are lucky, we get a little frost and taste of an actual season here in Southern California). We also talked about the different holidays that are celebrated around the world. Our Montessori lessons entailed stringing beads in our practical life area. In Mathematics we practiced counting 1-5 and visually being able to see that five is bigger than one. In our sensorial area we explored with ice. Lastly, we explored the letter sounds of “l, m and n” in our language area. Our book of the month was The Giving Tree by Shel Silberstein. This book was a good reminder of how it is nice to give, even when you think you don’t have much, maybe just a little old stump, it might be exactly what someone needs! Our special project was painting with ice. We picked out colors, touched them and observed them as a liquid. We placed the paint in the freezer and left it there until the next day. When we got the paint out, we made a new observation, we found the paint was now a solid! We took turns painting with colors and making beautiful pictures. December was full of celebrations and fun.
January Recap: What a busy month it’s been! It was so nice to see everyone again after the holiday break. Our theme for January was Winter Animals and Hibernation. During circle time, we discussed winter weather, and our “weather watchers” noticed that it was often cold outside. Despite the sunny days here in Southern California, we learned about snow, and talked about some animals that live in snow and colder climates. Some of our favorite animals to see pictures of and talk about were polar bears and walruses! This tied in very nicely with our talks about the continent of Antarctica, as well. Our book of focus for January was The Mitten by Jan Brett a wonderful story about many woodland creatures finding themselves all snuggled into a single white mitten for warmth. We read the book often, talking about the snow and the different animals within the story. We also did art based on the story and our January theme, featuring white gloves and winter animals. The letters we focused on during the month were o, p, q, and r. The work in our classroom was updated to reflect this focus. Each week, we looked at one of the letters, talking about how the letter was pronounced, what it looked like, and what words might start with that letter. The letter P brought us to the animal polar bear, which allowed us to talk about hibernation. Our friends enjoyed the concept of a long sleep following eating a lot of food! We talked about how hibernation is a winter activity for some animals and happens when it’s very cold outside. Circle time was perfect to practice our counting and to learn how to do jobs around our classroom. January was a great start to 2020 with lots of learning, growing, and having fun!
February Recap: The month of February seemed to fly by! Our friends had a busy month, and they learned a lot. Our February theme was Cultural Awareness and Friendship. Many days during circle time, we discussed what it means to be a friend, and how we can all come from different backgrounds and still maintain bonds. We created a friendship tree featuring a photo of each child and their handprints, which the kids loved to look at! For geography, our focus was the continent of Asia. We looked at where Asia is on a world map, colored maps of the continent, and talked about diversity within the different countries. We created Asian Elephant art, which the children had a great time making! We also had fun pretending we had elephant trunks. Our literary focus for February was Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. I read this book nearly every day, and the children did yellow and blue paint art in reference to the story. What was maybe the most exciting to the kids was when I did a paint mixing demonstration. I showed them that I could mix yellow and blue paint, which became green paint! This surprised many of them but helped them understand one of the main points of the story. In addition to also learning about Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, our friends learned four new letters, s, t, u, and v! The kids enjoyed letter “s” the most, because of how fun it was to make its sound. We also made strides in our Montessori work, doing lessons in how to carry and handle a work rug, building the pink tower, and using the knob cylinders. You may see some of this work around the classroom, and our friends are becoming quite adept at doing these activities! As always, we practiced counting and the days of the week in circle time. I’m quite impressed with how many of our friends are learning the days of the week and which order they go in! February was fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what growth and learning the month of March brings.
March News: March brings us a fresh new month and a fun new curriculum! The theme will be Rainforest and South America, and our literary focus will be on Dr. Seuss stories! I look forward to teaching the children about the rainforest habitat, and all the wildlife that resides within it. We will be finishing up learning the letters of the alphabet, ending with w, x, y, and z. The work on our shelves will be updated with these sandpaper letters and objects that begin with these letters so that the children can learn them during the Montessori work cycle. The children have all worked so hard on the letters we’ve had so far! March will have lots of musical days, and the children will even make a rainmaker! In addition, we will be learning about St. Patrick’s Day. In other news, Spring break will be coming up in April. If you’d like to sign your child up, there will be daycare available for an additional fee. Please see the front lobby for details.